A change in Shreveport-Bossier City governing organizations overseeing state wrestling and basketball events has led to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association pulling the two championship events scheduled for there in 2012.
The LHSAA announced in a news release Thursday that its State Wrestling Championships and State Basketball Finals Championships will not been held at Bossier’s Centurylink Arena.
“Right now, it’s a process,” LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said. “We’re a little farther along with the wrestling. It could be back to the Pontchartrain Center. As for basketball, we’ve looked at every site available in the state. We hope to have something finalized by Monday.”
Thursday’s announcement leaves the LHSAA without definite plans for two of its biggest spring events less than four months before they are scheduled to take place.
In June 2010, Shreveport-Bossier was awarded two-year bids for wrestling (2011-12) and the LHSAA’s first combined boys-girls basketball finals tournament (2012-13).
At that time, the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority handled the bid process and offered the LHSAA the Bossier facility and the events at no cost to the LHSAA. The wrestling tourney set an attendance mark in Bossier in February.
Earlier this year, the SRSA was replaced by a new board, the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, which offered counter bid proposals for the two events.
Henderson said the LHSAA’s executive committee voted to reject the SBSC’s counter offer that would have levied costs for the two events.
“Our committee’s view was that Shreveport had accepted a bid for zero cost, and they should honor that bid,” Henderson said.
The wrestling tourney is scheduled for Feb. 9-11. The basketball tourney that will feature the title games for boys and girls basketball is scheduled for March 8-10.
Henderson said Kenner’s Pontchartrain Center, a long-time site of the wrestling tourney until Shreveport-Bossier got the bid, is a likely alternative. That arena is currently hosting the state volleyball tournament.
Other bidders for the basketball tourney in 2010 included the Cajundome in Lafayette and LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Both have been longtime sites for the LHSAA’s boys basketball tournament.
LSU hosted the boys tournament from 1983-96. ULL was the site from 1997-2011.
The tourney change does not alter the plans for regional basketball tournaments for semifinal games in Hammond, Monroe and Lake Charles from March 1-3.